Ranitidine is a member of the H-2 (histamine blocker) family of drugs, which prevents the release of acid into the stomach. Ranitidine is used to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, erosive esophagitis, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Ranitidine is available as a prescription drug and also as a nonprescription over-the-counter product for relief of heartburn.
Ranitidine is in a class of drugs called histamine receptor antagonists. Ranitidine works by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces. Ranitidine blocks the action of histamine on stomach cells, and reduces stomach acid production. Ranitidine is useful in promoting healing of stomach and duodenal ulcers, and in reducing ulcer pain. Ranitidine has been effective in preventing ulcer recurrence when given in low doses for prolonged periods of time. In doses higher than that used in ulcer treatment, ranitidine has been helpful in treating heartburn and in healing ulcer and inflammation of the esophagus resulting from acid reflux (reflux esophagitis).
Ranitidine is used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Ranitidine is also used to treat conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid and conditions in which acid comes up into the esophagus and causes heartburn, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Ranitidine is used to reduce the amount of acid secreted by the stomach in order to reduce ulcer and heartburn pain or to assist in healing of ulcers and damage caused by gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). Ranitidine is also used to prevent ulcers in certain circumstances and to treat a condition associated with large amounts of stomach acid secretion known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.